Bay of Peschici

PESCHICI

On a Karst formation promontory, situated in Gargano, is where one will find the splendid City of Peschici, facing a small and unforgettable bay.

Its foundation came about by the Slavoni who were sent in 970 by Emperor Ottone I to liberate Gargano from a Saracen presence and who, from the 11th Century, were slowly conquering Puglia.
Its name is associated with Slavic roots; “pèsc” meaning sand, which refers to the ocean floor of the Bay of Peschici.
It was also known as Pesclizo, a Slavic district which became a feudatory of the County of Lesina under the Normans (1154) and then a County of Monte Sant’Angelo. The Castle was constructed during this period, then reconstructed in 1240.
Like all of Southern Italy, Peschici passed to the Swabians (1194), and suffered attack by a Venetian fleet (1239) sent by Pope Gregory IXth against Emperor Federick II. Peschici and its walls were destroyed together with the City of Vieste, then reconstructed under the wishes of Federick II.
With the advent of the Angioini (1267), Peschici participated in military expeditions, among which the Siege of Almiss (1274) along the Dalmatic Coast. Development of the commercial port and naval shipyard guaranteed good economic development.
In 1401, Peschici became part of direct management of the King of Naples, Ladislao I, last male heir of the Angioini on the throne.
Under the Aragonese, it was managed by Giorgio Skanderberg, administrator of the entire promontory of Gargano on behalf of the royals.
After the Franco-Spanish War, and due to continual threats of assault by the Turks, the town-wall building was reinforced with the construction of more than twenty towers.
In 1570, Peschici became a feudatory of Don Ferrante of Sangro, who was succeeded by Don Bernardino Turbolo (1571).
During the ‘600s, a long period of drought provoked famine, decimating the population of Peschici.
In the ‘700s, the City became the property of Emanuele Pinto, Prince of Ischitella.
The following century saw the birth of Renaissance and Republican ideals which manifested in the Carbonare (An association which promoted independent ideas) Revolts (1821) and those in 1848. The City participated actively but were not united; if one thinks that during the plebiscitary vote for annexation to the Reign of Italy (1860), nearly half its inhabitants voted for the Bourbons.
The end of the 19th Century and beginning of the 20th, were characterised by great poverty which made many inhabitants choose to leave for America in search of fortune.

Today Peschici is instead a vacation locality accommodating thousands of tourists yearly who are attracted by the beauty of its bay, fascinating and characteristic historical centre.
One can also enter Peschici through its bay by steep steps which enter the village full of white houses, narrows walkways with unexpected stairs, panoramic spots and characteristic restaurants. The night atmosphere in summer involves visitors along with its lively city life.
Main monuments in Peschici are: the Calena Abbey, which appeared in documents since 1023 as a small church under the guide of the very powerful Tremiti.
The defensive towers built during the 15th Century are scattered over the territory.
On the other side of the Peschici, which still preserves the ancient Castle, reconstructed during the 16th Century, one can visit the Madonna of Loreto Sanctuary (16th Century, being only 2 kilometres from the habitation.

PESCHICI
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Puglia (Apulia) region of Italy

 

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